Chapter Fourteen

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"Amilla joined S.H.I.E.L.D before I did. Fury had been trying to recruit both of us for a long time, but each time I refused." Christine began.

The team gathered around the broken woman. They hadn't gotten very far in their conversation about Ultron when she came down the stairs. Her footsteps were light and they barely noticed her frame in the doorway. She stayed quiet as she shuffled over to the table. Clint offered her his seat, but she declined. Choosing to stand at the head of the table instead.

The team listened intently.

"I evaluated both of them and per my judgment, Amilla was best suited for Interrogatory position; Amara was better in the field." Fury said. "Because of their abilities."

Bruce gave her a quizzical look. "Their? As in both?"

"As you know, I specialize in hand-to-hand combat and shadow manipulation. My abilities made it easier for me to be used in the field."

They all nodded.

"Amilla was different from me. She was an empath."

"So, she was able to...what? Empathize with others?"

"Not necessarily. Amilla has always had the ability to empathize with someone, we all do. Her abilities took that a step further. Amilla was able to feel and suggest emotions. She could tell what someone was feeling and if it was genuine."

"As you can tell, that made her an asset to S.H.I.E.L.D. With her abilities, she was the best interrogator we had."

"We had been apart of S.H.I.E.L.D for three years. During that time, I hadn't realized the effect on Amilla. Day in and day out consisted of her torturing and interrogating any adversary of S.H.I.E.L.D. I neglected to realize that each time that she would interview them, she not only would feel their emotions, but their mania, too. Especially when it came to Hydra agents. Hydra has no problem with torturing their agents, to train them. That's why they are so loyal to them. So, when they would send them our way, Amilla would have to endure that very torture."

Maria took a step forward. "I noticed some of her mood swings and the exhaustion. I just chalked it up to her being tired. I should have known it was something more."

"We all should have known better." Christine gave a pointed look to Fury.

She had noted the signs of her deterioration long before anyone else. She knew that something was wrong when Amilla would refuse to go on their afternoon strolls. A tradition that they have had since they were teenagers. Amilla was always a small individual, but she had noticed that she was getting smaller. Her glowing, hazel eyes had been shadowed, leaving them cold and distant. Her smiles weren't even the same anymore.Christine expressed her concern for Amilla to Fury; from the lack of afternoon jogs to her physical changes. He stilled in his chair and listened to her ramble for a few minutes before interrupting. He explained to her that Amilla has been working tirelessly to crack some stubborn Hydra agents. Telling her that there was no need to worry.

He was wrong.

"I didn't take it seriously until a month before she died. She was working on a particularly irritating suspect. She was in there with the suspect for twenty minutes before pandemonium. A nearby agent rushed in the room when they heard a scream. When he got there, he discovered that Amilla had stabbed the informant. The first agent that entered tried calming her down, but Amilla was being combative."

"How so?" Natasha pinched her eyebrows together in confusion. Judging from the silence, she could tell that this was a touchy subject. She tried to catch Christine's eye, but failed.

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